Common Core Essentials

I buy a ton of amazing resources from TpT. Seriously, I'd be lost without it, not even speaking just as a seller. But I've found myself running into the same problem over and over. I'll buy an awesome pack of activities that revolve around a particular theme, like a holiday or something seasonal, and then find that I can't use all of the activities because they don't really correlate to what I'm doing at the moment. This is more of a problem in math. I can't put out a center that has them working on telling time or geometry when I haven't taught it yet and then when I am teaching it later in the year I don't want to pull out a center with pumpkins all over it!

So to remedy that, I've started a new series of products called Common Core Essentials. Each pack has activities that are directly correlated to one single Common Core standard so you can be sure that you'll be able to use every piece of the pack when you're teaching that standard, whether it's November or May. They're meant to complement whichever math curriculum you're using, but they're not directly aligned with any certain series.

I have two finished so far and I'm hard at work on the rest. I'm a little obsessed...
I began with the NBT standards because that's what we usually start with. So here's a peek at the first two. Set one is for 2.NBT.1 (which is now technically 2.NBT.A1.1a, 1b, 1c <--no kidding! The standards are slightly renumbered, but more on that in a few days)

And here's a peek at the set for 2.NBT.2. A lot of the elements are similar, but there are a few differences to keep things fresh for you and for the kids, and because different skills just need to be approached and practiced differently.

You can find both in my store at tpt. 2.NBT.1 is HERE and 2.NBT.2 is HERE
They're also both in my blog shop here as well.

My next set of EZ Prep centers is just about ready too. Pretty productive for my first week off! I'm such a nerd. I have always had a real love of creating my own teaching materials, long before my involvement with tpt, so spending my summer working on things like this is actually so much fun for me. I'm going to fit in some reading for pleasure, some relaxation, and some travel. We're actually headed to Texas next week for the big ISTE technology conference. Can't wait to see someplace besides Florida! I'm not the best flyer. It's actually been about 7 years since I was on a plane...but dang it, I'm going to get over this and enjoy this trip! See y'all soon!


  1. Wow, these look incredible! I wish I was teaching second grade next year!

  2. What a great math pack, Denise! I'll definitely be using these with my 2ndies next year.


  3. Those sets look amazing! My summer wish list is growing!

    Success in Second Grade

  4. Wow! These look fantastic! I too LOVE creating my own materials. My husband thinks I'm a little crazy sometimes because I'm constantly on my computer creating lessons and materials. It's so much fun though.

  5. Have fun in Texas!! I was going to warn you about the heat... Then I realized you live in Florida, so you're probably used to it! I wanted to die when I was at my brother's house last summer. So hot there!! Can't wait to see the new ez prep centers... My kids had so much fun with them last month! Keep up the great work. The new CC essential packs are awesome!!

  6. I'm only slightly obsessed with everything you do! This is awesome!!
    Sarah's First Grade Snippets

  7. These look AMAZING!! I love the thought and care you put into creating great teaching resources!! I just added them to my wish list for shopping - The anchor charts are a great addition for my students when they are working independently while I have smaller group. THANK YOU!!!

  8. Oh my gosh, these are amazing, Denise!!! I can't wait to try them out next year!

  9. These look amazing! So neat and clean!! May I ask what type of programs you use to create these?

    1. Hi there,
      I use Pages on my Mac to create everything. It's like Word but with more flexibility. A lot of people use Powerpoint, but I find Pages a bit easier.

  10. Wow these are gorgeous! I can't wait to try them out!

  11. Denise- Any chance you will make a set of First grade Common Core Essentials when you are finished with 2nd grade sets? ;) I would LOVE to use them!!

  12. I also try to create for the standard and not so much the season. I still purchase some seasonal products because the kids LOVE them, but always seem to need to create one more thing to go with it:)

    The Resourceful Apple

  13. I am with Lisa...I would LOVE LOVE LOVE a 1st grade set!! I have run into the same problem with the seasonal items, so I love things that are still cute but can be used any time of year.

  14. I love these!!! I like that they can be used all year round. I've found the same issue when looking at certain skill packs, completely tied to a season, which doesn't work at all. Even though I teach in TX these totally correlate to a lot of our TEKS (our version of CCSS).

  15. I should probably know the answer to this question but how many of these Common Core Essential packets are you making? And will they be done by summers end? As if you don't have enough to do, but I love them!


  16. Hi Ashley!
    I'm planning on making one for all of the standards. I'm working my tushie off to have as many done by the end of summer as I can. I want to be able to have them for myself too! :) I'm working on them in the order that we usually teach the skills so we'll at least have them for the first half of the year to start with. So glad you like them! If you ever have any suggestions on things you'd like to see in them, just let me know!

  17. You are seriously a life saver. Everything you create is so meaningful! Anything I has made a direct impact on my students and the way I teach! These look fabulous and have just been added to my lengthy wish list!

    I've Got It Made in Second Grade

  18. Denise --- these are fabulous!!! I can't wait to purchase all your sets and put them to good use!!

  19. I've run into the same problem before. We base everything off of our common core standards (obviously) so this is perfect!

  20. These are wonderful. I wish you taught third grade!!!

  21. I love these! I'm going to have to dish out some bucks....we are not going to use a workbook this coming year for math. Your stuff will be perfect! Where in Texas are you going and when? I'm going to be in Houston from July 3-8th. That would be funny if that conference was in Houston!
    Thanks for your creative mind!

  22. These look awesome!! Thank you!!

  23. What great ideas! I know what you mean about pulling something out with pumpkins on it in April. I have been finding centers and copies that I made earlier in the year, never used, but the kids could still use the practice. We just used a holiday lights themed number ordering page! LOL. Your products look great!


  24. You ROCK!!! I am so inspired by you. And I'm kinda in love with you - you make my life as a 2nd grade teacher so much easier. My principal LOVES the "out of the box" learning tasks I do in my room which were created by YOU! My students have F-U-N while they're learning. It's happiness and sunny days every day in my classroom thanks to your inspiration.

    Keep the good stuff coming, girl!

    ~Mrs. Beck


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